• Warns Community, Union Leaders, Others

By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos

No fewer than 500, 000 households would benefit from Eko Cares initiatives, a social intervention programme aimed at lessening the burden on residents amid economic hardship by the Lagos State government.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu revealed this at the official unveiling of the initiative.

The beneficiaries according to the governor will cut across 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) of the state.

To drive the initiatives, the governor set up a non-partisan Special Dispensation Advisory Council of eminent Nigerians, including rights activists, religious leaders, a youth representative, and opposition party chieftains, which was chaired by Mr. Governor, with Deputy Governor Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat as alternate chairman.

The initiative includes distribution of foodstuffs to the vulnerable Lagosians, medical outreach, 25% discount on sale food items and others.

Speaking at the occasion, the governor warned the community, union, youth leaders and others who were involved in the distribution of the food items not to hoard it.

He charged them not to be involved in sharp practice by depriving the vulnerable in their community, including unions, groups, and organisations.

Sanwo-Olu insisted that the palliatives were meant for the vulnerable Lagosians and they should not be deprived of it.

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“Let us be the government in our respective local government so that we will be able to tell our community people to do away with what the government doesn’t want them to do.

“Today, I am excited that all of the things that we have promised you, we have started and we are still doing it bigger and better because, from today, you will begin to see all of the foodstuffs will be shipped to all nooks and crannies through the local government.

Please, once they send these things to you, you’re not meant to hoard them or share them with your family. It is supposed to be for the vulnerable people who truly need it. Please, give it to them, support and help them, let them be able to come up and live well,” he said.

Some of the foodstuffs to be distributed to vulnerable people include 10kg rice, 5kg garri, 5kg beans, and tomatoes, among others.

In his welcome address at the event, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, described the event as yet another milestone in the life of Sanwo-Olu’s administration.

According to Omotoso, “This day marks the official unveiling of EKO CARES, a comprehensive response of the Lagos State Government to the temporary hardship occasioned by the global economic crises.

“Since his assumption of office in May 2019, Governor Sanwo-Olu has always demonstrated a penchant for keeping his word.

“He has distinguished himself as a leader whose word is his bond. It is, thus, not surprising that “Mr Talk and Do” is fulfilling the promise that he made during the media chat on February 22—to unveil a comprehensive package of socio-economic interventions to reduce the current hardship in the land.”